Changes in the landscape of holiday rental agencies in Mauritius
August 16, 2014
This year has been a -and still is going to be a very challenging year for many holiday rental agencies in Mauritius. When I speak of holiday rental agencies in general, I mean those that act as an intermediary in proposing beach villas and apartments on their websites usually holding a tour operators licence obtained by the Mauritius Tourism Authority. There is a difference to the tasks performed by property managers who do maintenance work on site, receive clients and have exclusivity in re-marketing those units through a network of agencies with whom they collaborate. Some of these market their offers through my Isla-Mauricia holiday rentals agency websites.
To run a holiday rental agency in Mauritius means you are operating in an ever growing competitive market. The more costs you have, the bigger your team is, the more hard you will be hit once the low season strikes and if your bookings start becoming less and less. A situation I had to face myself since last November 2013. I experienced a sudden decline in bookings. November, usually one of my best months performed very badly and this trend remained on going till May. June and July have been satisfactory and I’m currently observing the month of August there are still 15 days to go and I hope for this month to end stable which could be a sign for recovery and the year ending positively. Though I speak for my own situation, it could be completely different for others.
I faced for the first time in my life this year the challenge of laying off my team that had grown to be like a family. This could make for another blog post in the context of challenges an entrepreneur faces and how to lay off and say good bye – its over!
There are various theories, scenarios that you can study, or try to put into practice but reality often has its surprises taking you off guard and handing you a slap! A slap to wake up or a slap to make you cry. When money talks, it can get “brutal”. Deal with banks and you will see, there is no love, no heart, no passion – just the figures that matter – the rest is just acting to get your business. From smile to the dagger into your back. This wasn’t my case but this is what you could face when laying off since its a very sensitive issue.
Mauritius Charcuterie Fresh or Frozen Meat Products supplier of 5 Star hotels De Lapeyre Ltd.
August 4, 2014
Whether its pickled specialities, a smoked chicken or roasted ham – De Lapeyre Ltd. is your partner of choice for your local charcuterie meat products in Mauritius.
They have their own savoir faire, authentic recipes and traditional techniques practised since over 30 years.
What costs to expect when starting your own holiday rentals agency or tour operator services in Mauritius?
August 3, 2014
In my first article in my blog I wrote in depth about “What are the future outlooks of agencies in the holiday home rentals industry of Mauritius?” My article is quite long and covers in a whole how to get started and what challenges you will face. I also address my own pessimistic view of the industry and if you are considering to get started you should read that. What I didn’t address in my previous article are the costs that you will encounter.
In this article I will give an approximate overview of costs that you will have to face if you wish to launch professionally your own company that offers vacation rentals and other tourism related services. When I got started I didn’t know which costs to expect. I hope this article will help you in your planning and also to get a clear overview if your idea is realistic to get started in this industry.
Christopher Ahlberg: I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer – Pioneers Festival 2013
July 5, 2014
Recorded Future is a web intelligence software platform that helps companies anticipate threats and capitalize on opportunities.
A fascinating software and start up company that can come to conclusions with the analysis of the large amount of data which is openly available on the world wide web. It does make one curious how a company can tap and harness into such information and come up with various results. Looking into the potential of what the future in a certain spectrum might be holding.
In this video Milo Yiannopoulos from The Kernel at Pioneer interviews Christopher Ahlberg founder of Recorded Future in a short compact 21 minutes session.
If you like subjects such as Big Data, Web Intelligence and organisation of data, analysis and giving it structure – before diving into the video you can have an idea what Recorded Future does here → https://www.recordedfuture.com/web-intelligence/
Hiking North East Mauritius – Roches Noires Caves, Bras d’eau forest till Poste Lafayette beach – Pat Loisirs
June 24, 2014
Level 1 hike. Not tough, easy go for amateurs.
Track we did was around 10Km.
We started at the village of Rivière du Rempart — Old Railway Track — Caves of Roches Noires — Mauritius Radio Telescope — Mango Orchard — Bras D’eau Visitor’s Centre — Bras D’eau Trail — and ended at Poste La Fayette beach.
Climbing through the caves of Mauritius left by volcanic activity is like witnessing the foundation and construction of Mauritius. It does look a bit like concrete bays without the proper lighting.
We start the day from Grand Baie and meet up with the hikers group of the club Pat Loisirs in the centre of Riviere du Rempart. On a Sunday morning it is quite busy there. If you are looking for a parking, town centre might not be ideal – you might also consider parking a bit more before at the town entrance if coming from Roches Noires. Our meeting point is set at the Shell filling station. The road that will be our starting point also goes past by that filling station. We parked the car a bit more further away just before that narrow bridge which you can cross and that leads directly to the caves. The people there are friendly and we asked them if we can park close to their property which they approved.
What does Constat à l’amiable mean? Driving and Accidents in Mauritius
June 21, 2014
When it comes to driving in Mauritius, various informations, laws, theories and facts seem to come gradually over the years as you gain more and more experience. Whether you just got your driving licence, or moved to Mauritius you will definitely have some questions to what you must abide to when you drive here and some questions will pop up when its hopefully not to late! In this article I will address what is a “Constat à l’amiable” (something I was pondering upon and about which I posted here on Google+) and a few other points on which I will extend with an introduction of some general information that is good to know of!
Like any other country, Mauritius has a set of laws to which car drivers must abide and respect. Even if the island appears exotic and a bit laid back, there is no leniency when it comes to rules and they will be applied and not looked over. You should definitely NOT try to bribe a policeman!
Therefore car drivers that do not respect the law are not acts for you to imitate or follow. I’m mentioning this for the case that if you are new to Mauritius and think you need to follow a certain driving style – just be careful! Yes, many drivers will still overtake a bus even though there is a white line for example. It doesn’t mean you should do that…
Stick to the rules. Sooner or later they will get caught and pay heavy fines. Speeding alone can cost you around Rs.2000. Considering that its only a small moment of excess speed pressing on the accelerator – those fines can definitely hurt your monthly budget and you will receive demerit points!
Ubuntu 32-bit or 64-bit, Should I upgrade? Which iso version should I download?
April 25, 2014
Ubuntu releases each april and october a new stable release. It is numbered by the year and month in this format for let’s take 2013: 13.04 and 13.10. And for 2014 the newest release is 14.04. When a release is labelled LTS it stands for Long Term Support. Support refers to that Ubuntu releases bug fixes that you can update your system with, not free technical support.
When Ubuntu 14.04 was released I had a series of questions which you might also have when considering an update or installing Ubuntu from scratch.
+Do I have a 32-bit or 64-bit processor?
+Which Ubuntu version should I download?
+Which Ubuntu version do I have am I running on my PC?
+Can I upgrade from a 32-bit install directly to a 64-bit version?
+Can I Install Amd64 Ubuntu On My Intel 64-bit Machine?
ERP Made in Mauritius by ProximaSoft and how my interest was sparked!
April 17, 2014
I like ERP, Data Centres, web hosting, servers, ubuntu linux, CRMS, especially when its related to and from Mauritius. Therefore when I’m contacted by a software company in Mauritius, its like waking up a very curious sleeping data crawler…
What is ERP!?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP is usually composed of various software modules with which you can manage various internal processes of a company.
With ERP you can optimise how your company is run, become efficient, save money and increase performance. Developing your own ERP or custom made FROM SCRATCH with some programmers that you appoint can in many situations be overkill meaning such projects can tend to be huge, be very costly and end up in catastrophies if some bugs cannot be fixed after some years and you become very dependant on the initial programmers that developed your software.
In many cases it is more wise to use, implement and adapt software already made by EXPERTS in this area. Companies in Mauritius need ERP and even better if a local software company like ProximaSoft can supply such software as they will understand way more better the needs of the local market and offer optimum solutions. This is where ProximaSoft can assist you.
How to reduce your IT Computer purchase office expenses in Mauritius
April 16, 2014
Whether you are going to purchase a computer for private use, several computers for your business there are ways how you can reduce the price that you pay for your PCs.
Small businesses in Mauritius, whether you are starting off or already running, computer equipment can be a costly investment. I will outline here a way that worked for me greatly in reducing my costs and on top also improving my work experience!
When I started my first company Isla-Mauricia I purchased mainly second hand computers but unfortunately their life time was also very low. If you are going to buy second hand computers try to get those that have only been used less than a year. I still have one second hand PC that I bought that I managed to get from a company closure. This PC is still running now after 4 years.
Which Villa in Mauritius is the real GEM of them all?
April 16, 2014
While checking my emails today at work I noticed one particular message that was written to me by an owner with whom I collaborate who was addressing to me that she was disappointed of not seeing her villa listed amongst my list of favourite villas in Mauritius. Considering that my blog is only nearly 2 weeks old I was particularly positively touched by her message. Engagement and communication is everything. Having direct feedback of a partner who follows up on what you do and reads your publication and on top gives you feedback is a very nice form of encouragement. This is even exemplary! Owners, property managers and marketing agencies need to work hand in hand.
We are humans and what we publish on the world wide web is intended for YOU to be read – NO we don’t write texts for search engines to spider. So, a feedback means more than just the clicking of a like button. Therefore I gave her message the special attention that it deserves. The villa in question is Villa L’ilot and she is absolutely right, how could I have missed out her villa on my favourite listing page. Instead of just posting a photo and a short intro I decided to blog a whole post of her villa and also addressing a bit the villa theme.
Sunday in Mauritius at Port-Louis, Citadelle, Flic en Flac, Black River Gorges National Park, Le Morne, Chamarel, Plaine Champagne, Grand Bassin and Curepipe
April 15, 2014
A sightseeing itinerary with visiting guests from abroad
On Sunday the 13th of April I organised an itinerary with a buddy for two visiting guests from Germany. Quite often when the week end approaches and you have guests from abroad staying at your place you really wonder where you can take them. If you just hit the road without planning you might end up just doing a road trip without a clue where to stop or where to go. This happened to me once where I had a German guest. I just drove south, we had a look at a beach and drove back. So the main thing was only being seated in the car and me driving. Obviously this has its appeal to but it’s better to have a plan!
So for this Sunday I organised the following itinerary
+ Drive to Port-Louis, visit Citadelle to have a panoramic view of Port-Louis and eat some bread and chicken tikka at Pakistan Hotel. It’s actually a snack and not a hotel but called like that and very popular in Mauritius!
+ Head on to West Coast, have a swim at Flic en Flac and drive on to the Gorges National Park where we will have a walk and eat our food.
+ Move on to Le Morne, see the beach and spend sometime there.
+ Drive back home through Grand Bassin, along the way pluck some guavas (Goyave de Chine).
Citadelle also known as Fort Adelaide
Citadelle is a fort located on a hill in the centre of Port-Louis. It offers a stunning panoramic view over the capital city of Mauritius and a great place to take photos. The fort itself is very impressive. It has been built by huge basalt rocks which are very heavy and large. One only wonders how much effort this must have gone in there to build it! The construction time was around 6 years long, from 1834-1840 built by the British to fortify the harbour after they had taken the island from the French.
Holiday home rental agencies future in Mauritius?
April 8, 2014
What are the future outlooks of agencies in the holiday home rentals industry of Mauritius?
In the perspective of a tour operator who acts as a reseller, working with property managers and owners of such vacation rentals earning a return on short term rentals from tourists. A personal view of the current and possible future outlooks for agencies and sharing from an insider perspective what are the barriers and with a dose of a rather pessimistic frame of mind!
I have been involved with the Mauritius vacation rental tourism industry for more than 10 years now. I have also collaborated with various hotels for the last 8 years. Today, I want to write and look at the vacation rentals industry from various perspectives if there is still a future for agencies in this sector or if it looks rather gloomy. Many traditional offline travel agencies have been hit by the internet; will there be a next wave of clean up where many small online agencies will also be put under the carpet leaving only the big players to stand?
Things to ponder upon and I hope my colleagues in this industry will read this article and deeply reflect on their own future.